WASHINGTON – The Pentagon released a directive Tuesday that requires foreign terror suspects to be treated humanely, banning torture and the use of dogs to intimidate detainees.
The directive, signed by acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, was made public after about a year in the making, said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman.
The Pentagon calls the measure a restatement of existing U.S. policies. It follows criticism over investigations into detainee treatment in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
It prohibits mental and physical torture and the use of dogs to intimidate or threaten detainees during interrogation procedures under U.S. and international law, saying they "shall not be used as part of an interrogations approach or to harass, intimidate threaten or coerce a detainee for interrogations purposes."
Investigators found that unmuzzled dogs were used to intimidate inmates during interrogations at the Abu Ghraib facility in Iraq.
It "applies to all intelligence interrogations, detainee debriefings and tactical questioning conducted by DOD personnel, contractor employees under DOD cognizance and DOD contractors supporting such interrogations to the extent incorporated into such contracts," according to the directive.
The directive comes as Congress reviews the government's treatment of detainees and considers a ban on torture of U.S. prisoners. Democrats are trying to put together a commission to investigate alleged abuses.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wants to tack on an amendment to a military spending bill that would ban cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees. The White House opposes the measure, saying it could hamper President Bush's efforts as he prosecutes the War on Terror. Bush has threatened a veto.
"We are engaged in a global war against Islamic radicals who are intent on spreading a hateful ideology and intent on killing innocent men, women and children. We are going to do what is necessary to protect the American people. We are also going to do so in a way that adheres to our laws and to our values. We have made that very clear. The president directed everybody within this government that we do not engage in torture. We will not torture. He made that very clear," White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Tuesday.
The directive released Tuesday is a combination of all of the Defense Department's existing policies and memos over detainee interrogation in the War on Terror.
Other U.S. government employees that conduct intelligence interrogations of suspects under the Department of Defense's control are required to follow department policies.
The Pentagon will add the directive to an updated Army Field Manual guide to intelligence-collecting operations, which will be completed soon.
Another directive that would offer guidelines on procedures for holding and processing detainees is yet to be completed.
Bush administration officials haven't decided to include language from the Geneva Conventions over detainee treatment.
FOX News' Bret Baier and Nick Simeone and The Associated Press contributed to this report.